On Friday, McFarlane issued a release announcing the return of “chase figures,” which was absent and sorely missed among collectors in 08. In addition, an announcement was made regarding the release of the rarest Babe Ruth Sport Pick figure ever. For more information, check out their official release below:

“McFarlane Toys is proud to announce two major developments regarding the always popular “chase figures” in our Sports Picks lineups. “Chase figures” are products that are intentionally different than most of the production run. They are produced on a limited basis and inserted into sealed Sports Picks cases. These chase figures are highly sought after by collectors and generally carry some additional value on the secondary market. This fall, we integrated the chase program into full lineups, while limiting the variance between a normal and a chase figure. We felt that having more chase figures available would be beneficial to the collector.

As it turned out, these subtle chases were received poorly by our established collector base, who felt the variance between the regular and the chase figure wasn’t great enough to spark their interest. In response to the collector requests, Todd has decided to re-integrate classic “chase figures” (alternate jerseys, retro looks etc.) into Sports Picks lineups, starting next March with the MLB 2009 Wave 1 lineup.

In addition to the return of the classic “chase figure” we are offering our own “golden ticket” in the Cooperstown 2009 lineup. This series includes our second Babe Ruth figure, showcased pitching for both the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. Ruth’s Yankees figure is portrayed in the 1920 uniform – when the Yankees wore a white cap with blue pinstripes. Five of these Yankee versions of Babe Ruth are receiving an alternate paint job – with the hat painted dark blue with a white NY logo – what’s generally considered the Yankees’ “normal” hat. Two of these figures will go into our permanent archive, but three will be randomly inserted into sealed cases of Cooperstown 2009.

These figures will be recognizable not only by the blue hat, but the back of each package will be sealed with our McFarlane blue logo safety tape – usually found on our sealed Sports Picks cases. Prior to this, the rarest Sports Picks figure was a Teemu Selanne Winnipeg Jets figure from the NHL 6 lineup. Most of the Jets Selanne figures had his traditional number eight on his jersey, but 13 of them featured the numeral 13 – the number he wore during his record-setting rookie season. The last #13 Selanne that sold online fetched $8,500 dollars!

Stay tuned to McFarlane.com for pictures of the Babe Ruth super chase figure and more info in the coming weeks!”